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St Andrews weekly Scriptorium is held at All Saints Church throughout the year.  The summer Scriptorium commences in June 2023.  


The Scriptorium has been meeting for a number of years.  A typical day begins with coffee together, time for prayer and reflection, and then dedicated time for study and writing.

St Andrews began hosting events in March 2023.

The next event is scheduled for the beginning of the Autumn Term 2023 with Dr Calum MacKellar, Director of Research for the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics.



“The Vocation of a Composer: An Evening with Sir James MacMillan”

Wednesday 8 March 2023 7.30pm,

Reception to follow All Saints’ Church, North Castle Street









Trinity Forum is delighted to welcome friends to our first event of the term in St Andrews, an evening with Sir James MacMillan a dialogue exploring the relationship between music, creativity, and community. We are grateful to Dr Sarah Moerman, Research Fellow in Theology and Music at the School of Divinity, for chairing the evening’s conversation.


Sir James MacMillan is one of today’s most successful composers and performs internationally as a conductor. His musical language is flooded with influences from his Scottish heritage, Catholic faith, social conscience and close connection with Celtic folk music, blended with influences from Far Eastern, Scandinavian and Eastern European music.


MacMillan enjoys a flourishing career as conductor of his own music alongside a range of contemporary and standard repertoire, praised for the composer’s insight he brings to each score. He has conducted major orchestras all over the world. He was Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie until 2013 and Composer/Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic until 2009. In January 2021 MacMillan conducted the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in the Dutch premiere of his Christmas Oratorio; later that year the work received its UK premiere with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Other recent highlights include a major feature at the 2019 Edinburgh International Festival as part of his 60th birthday year, with performances of works such as Quickening, A Scotch Bestiary, Woman of the Apocalypse and the world premiere of MacMillan’s Symphony No.5 ‘Le grand inconnu’


Highlights of the 2022/23 season including conducting engagements with the St Louis Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra and a performance of Handel’s Messiah with Edinburgh Royal Choral Union at Usher Hall. A number of new works receive world premieres, including his Violin Concerto No. 2 with Nicola Benedetti, a Piano Quintet, Ye Sacred Muses for The King’s Singers, Her tears fell with the dews at even with Pittsburgh Symphony, a choral work for Cincinnati Symphony and Fiat Lux with the Pacific Symphony. MacMillan founded music festival The Cumnock Tryst in October 2014, which takes place annually in his native Ayrshire. MacMillan was awarded a CBE in 2004 and a Knighthood in 2015.


Please do join us for what promises to be an engaging and rewarding evening. Contact with any questions or concerns.




The Saint Andrews Scriptorium was founded in 2019. Partnering with All Saints Church, The Scriptorium quickly became a hub of Christian scholarship and community, meeting every Thursday from 9:30-5:30, with dozens of attendees from all disciplines in the university. Scholars ate, prayed, studied, and relaxed together, spurring each other on to more excellent scholarship and a more joyful faith. During the Covid19 pandemic, the scriptorium continued to meet over Zoom, joining with the Edinburgh Trinity Forum.

The Scriptorium is not designed to add yet another commitment to already busy lives, but is instead to help post graduates focus on their scholarly vocation in an atmosphere of friendship, prayer, encouragement, and accountability. The study days will be punctuated by tea & coffee breaks as well as lunch, all of which is provided, and book-ended by short sessions of prayer and reflection beginning and ending the day. This outreach meets a keenly felt need in the postgraduate population for  structure and a community of like-hearted scholars, and creates a pool of post graduates to invite for future Trinity Forum Events.

St Andrews Scriptorium Testimonials


Scriptorium has been a great blessing this semester! Our weekly days together have consistently proven to be my most reliably productive days each week, as one might expect from such a dedicated, structured environment. Paradoxically, however, those same days also turn out to be the days when I experience the greatest camaraderie with my colleagues, thereby showing that fellowship and scholarship need not exclude each other. Finally, the attitude of spiritual dedication and worship that informs the day, from the opening prayers in the morning to the closing blessings at nightfall, really helps me to align my work with larger concerns beyond simply my trying to finish a project or a degree. Thanks for providing this opportunity!

- David Morely, doctoral candidate researching Literature


Scriptorium has been a life-giving game-changer for me. Taking time to position my research in the context of Christian vocation and community has breathed both life and rhythm into my research. I have been enriched by the conversations I've had there and benefited from the appointed time set apart (making it easier to say "no" to other demands). Scriptorium has truly blessed my work this fall.

- Kimberly Drage, researcher in Business, Vocation, and Faith


Scriptorium has been a gift of immeasurable worth to me in both my academic pursuits, and in the development of my own sense of personal fellowship. I have been astonished by how much my writing output has been transformed by the disciplined structure of each Scriptorium day, and how the interspersion of friendship, food, and prayer has heartened and enlivened me in my work. Whereas before this semester, I thought I might be an occasional visitor to Scriptorium, perhaps three or four times a semester, since then it has become an orienting point around which my week turns. It is a lifeline which I anticipate with excitement every week. I can't express how grateful I am for it, and for the way that Joy has led it as well. In lesser hands I'm not sure it would have achieved the effect it has for me and for others. Joy is uniquely well-suited to lead this group and bring goodness to bear through her many thoughtful ways of contributing to our experience, from the food we eat, to the prayers and readings we have at the beginning and end of each day. This is a resource which is transforming my academic and personal life here in St Andrews, and not only do I hope it continues, I hope that it expands to more days of the week!

- Joel Clarkson, doctoral candidate researching Music


As a PhD candidate at the University of St Andrews, I have found the dissertation writing process to be a rather solitary endeavour. Although family and friends are supportive, writing a thesis is a rather unique enterprise, and I have found my best supportive community to be fellow doctoral students. Being part of Scriptorium this term has allowed us a regular time of what a friend calls 'embodied solidarity' - time spent in the presence of others with the same focus, if vastly different subject material. Besides weekly dedicated writing time in silence (which has allowed me to make and meet generous goals), the break and lunch times have been an unexpected but beneficial time to both decompress and share ideas and progress with colleagues, which has in turn strengthened my work. The value of this dedicated community cannot be understated, and I am grateful for your support both of this project and of Joy's leadership.

- Sarah Moerman, doctoral candidate in Theology



The Scriptorium has been a highlight of my week. I think the best learning takes into account the needs of the entire person, but us academics tend to focus on the life of the mind at the expense of our physical, social, and spiritual needs.


The Scriptorium is not just time to study, but it’s studying within a community of scholars. It’s the work of the mind balanced with sharing coffee, lunch, prayer, conversation, and the occasional walk. I’m quite grateful for it, and believe it’s enriched my scholarship and my weekly routine.

James Smoker, doctoral candidate in Theology

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